Every second counts when someone is in cardiac arrest
Cardiac arrest is when the electrical system malfunctions and the heart unexpectedly stops beating. The lack of pumping in the heart causes the brain and other vital organs to stop receiving blood properly. It can also occur if the pulse is too low or a prolonged pause between heartbeats is present.
A heart attack, while used intertwined, is when there is a blockage in a vein that is not allowing blood to flow. The lack of blood can result in a cardiac attack, but a cardiac arrest is not a heart attack. However, both are fatal and require immediate medical attention.
Statistics show that more than 350,000 people yearly suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital, and only about 35,000 survive. That is just 10% of the overall figure. 70% of cardiac arrests happen at home. When an individual suffers a cardiac arrest every minute without performing CPR or using an AED, the survival odds drop.
You can save lives by knowing how to perform CPR correctly. Also, properly using an AED (automated external defibrillator) is valuable knowledge when the situation is needed. Knowing both can increase the survival rate dramatically.
The red cross recommends that every adult should be trained both in CPR & AED. Many overlook the importance of CPR and AED, but these techniques could be the difference between life and death.
These facts are why we will teach you the basics of how to perform both properly. However, we recommend taking a local course in CPR with an instructor to ensure you are equipped with all the information needed.
How to perform CPR
First, if someone collapses and you don’t have CPR knowledge or just forgot how to perform it correctly, call 911 immediately and call for help. Someone nearby could have this knowledge.
Remember that you should only perform CPR if the person is unconscious, not responding, or not breathing.
Here are the steps on how to perform CPR (adult):
Due to their size, performing CPR on babies and children (years 1-8) requires adjustments.
How to use an AED
First, perform CPR before trying AED. It is better to let the paramedics do this, but if the situation forces you to use one and there are AEDs available, then do the following:
This information is helpful for everyone. Although it is better to wait for paramedics to perform AED, you might need to do it yourself. You’ll find additional information and local training courses available in your area by going to the CPR and AED training. We also recommend watching the Red Cross links for further info.
The Red Cross First Aid provides instant access to information for cardiac arrest, performing CPR, and other emergencies.
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